The issue opens with a flashback of Aric watching and waiting patiently on the battlements. His father returns and explains the meaning of freedom in a poignant and touching moment akin to Hector holding Astyanax. Flash forward to the present, and we see Aric imprisoned behind a wall of chain link and barbwire. Brilliant storylines and powerful introductions like this one demonstrate why X-O Manowar is the quintessential comic book: it’s entertaining, literary, and cerebral.
Separated from the armor, Aric, and the rest of the displaced Visigoths ponder their plight. The military step in and interrogate the displaced king about the armor, his experiences, and his expected cooperation.
Then, we find out that the X-O has powers no one anticipated.
Although the cover art is all types of awesome feature Aric griping a pummeled Ninjak against a scarlet background, none of that occurs in this issue. What does happen is a great set-up for what will be an amazing scene in a future issue. No spoilers, I promise.
Because this comic contains excellent moments and builds up to even great ones, X-O Manowar remains one of my highest anticipated monthly comics. I laud the creative team at Valiant for always thinking ahead, for every comic is part of a greater story chronicling the exploits of one of the greatest heroes of this comic book age.
I hope that there’s a great readership for this book. The comic is worth every bit of its cost, and its action will leave you pumped up and ready to go out and conquer enemies, vanquish foes, and kick all kinds of ass.
Writer: Robert Venditti Artists: Trevor Hairsine, Cary Nord, and Vincente Fuentes Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/22/14